Dulce Pinzón: The Real Story of the Superheroes

Posted on June 12, 2008 Under Art

In her photographic series "The Real Story of the Superheroes," Mexican-born, Brooklyn-based photographer Dulce Pinzón explores the cultural identity of Mexican immigrants working low-wage jobs in the U.S. and the value placed on the labour they provide. Pinzón doesn't shy away from addressing some hot button issues. She takes into account the now-ingrained but seldom-examined idea of American "heroism" post 9/11 and looks through the lens of her own immigrant history and experience in Mexico to ask "what really is a superhero?"
To raise the point, Pinzón creates a comical but photographically engaging contradiction. Her subjects, all Mexican immigrants working low-wage jobs to send money home to their families, are pictured at work wearing culturally iconic superhero costumes. Spider Man washes windows, Cat Woman changes diapers, and so on. The photos enlighten through their sense of entertainment, but there is something deeper. We’re trained to instantly relate to the legend of the superhero, but the juxtaposition becomes clear when you read the caption: each photo lists the name of the worker and how much cash they're sending home to their family each week.

The series doesn't provide definitive answers, but like all good art, forces you to think for yourself. Are these workers tragically over-looked and maligned by the very people they are serving, or are they taking advantage of flawed immigration policies and then being celebrated for it?